The first level of Day 5 is in the books. Out of the 239 players who started the day, now only 187 remain. Jon Lane, who started the day at the top of the leaderboard, still leads with over three million in chips. After the flurry of eliminations in post-bubble play during yesterday’s first level, the bustouts came much more slowly today. One of the reasons for that is likely the increase in payouts. Today’s first bustout, Donald Swartz, received $37,019, nearly twice as much as the first player paid yesterday. More importantly, with over 6,000 players eliminated and only about 200 bustouts to go before the final table, players are starting to look ahead to a potential $ 8,359,531 payday.
Shawn Sheikhan was among the early eliminations today. He was knocked out by 2012 Main Event final tablist Steve Gee. Vivek Rajkumar, who had a tough table draw with Jonathan Jaffe, Tommy Chen, Brett Richey, and defending Main Event champion Greg Merson on his left, made a valiant effort to build his stack early in the day. It didn't last, however, as he busted out when Nick Schwarmann made a flush to beat Rajkumar's pocket queens.
Several well-known players are building impressive stacks. Max Steinberg, one of the chips leaders on Day 4, picked up right where he left off yesterday with the help of quads on the first hand of the day. Rachid Ben Cherif is climbing the leaderboard as well, as is Jason Cohen.
Young pro Amit Makhija also busted out today. He was eliminated by Beverly Lange, an amateur player from near Austin, Texas, who has over a million chips. Lange joins the list of women making deep runs in the Main Event this year alongside known pros like Jackie Glazier and Annette Obrestad.
Players return to their tables in 20 minutes. We'll have complete chip counts for you soon, and we'll be back with all the action when play resumes.